52 Exercises: #18 Mountain Hiking and Why I’m in a Bad Mood

52 Exercises: Mountain Hiking and Why I'm in a Bad Mood

Some of my greatest ideas turn out to be idiotic when I try them out.

For example, last week I was given a beautiful dress by Leearna Saunders, the fashion designer at Blossom Betty. I think she gave it to me because she knows the truth: I’ve been feeling depressed.

My depression’s like a bad mood that’s latched onto me for no reason and won’t go away but her gift cheers me up a lot.

The dress was handmade in tea-stained calico, hand-printed and has been worn just once before on the catwalk at a fashion show. It’s feminine, simple and honest. The natural colours and prints are quietly stunning and it fits me perfectly.

I am especially thrilled that it fits even though it’s model size 8 (probably US size 6) because I have a small upper body with teeny tiny tits and the fifties style full skirt flares out over my ample bottom. I love the modest neckline and knee-length skirt too because I’m becoming distinctly prudish now I’m over 40. These days I’m more comfortable not flaunting it, even though on a good day I sometimes think I’ve still got it.

I fall in love with the dress and want to write about it. It deserves a gentle lyrical poem but a blog post will have to do.

With my 52 Exercises challenge for the week mountain hiking up Mount Cooroora and the dress being from the Archival Indigenous Collection an idea springs to mind.

I will take the dress on the hike, change into it on top of the mountain and photograph it with the Sunshine Coast hinterland as a backdrop. It’s the kind of dramatic Australian scenery the dress deserves, a fashion photo shoot worthy of it.

I’m thrilled with the idea because I’d bet big money that no one has ever done a fashion shoot on top of Mount Cooroora, or probably any other mountain.

But I soon find out there’s a reason for that.

It’s Anzac Day so there’s no school and we take the kids to Pomona with a couple of other families in tow. Having learnt some hard lessons about the secrets of mountain climbing and life  the first time we climbed Mount Cooroora we pack water and mandarins along with the dress and heels.

Rich doesn’t get the idea of the fashion shoot and tries to talk me out of it but I won’t be swayed. My mood plummets but I feel better by making him carry the bag.

I pass Kiara her hat which she promptly chucks back in the car boot, casting me a foul look and saying:

“I don’t want to wear a hat.”

It’s 9am but this not our first argument of the day so I immediately see red, grab it out again and bang my head on the corner of the boot. A lump forms straight away and my mood goes from bad to worse.

We set off through the woods. It’s cool and shady to begin with but then the trees end and the path gets steep. Very steep. We climb and climb, the sun beating down on us, sweat soaking through our shirts and dampening our hair.

Mountain Hiking and Why I'm in a Bad Mood

It’s a fair climb up Mount Cooroora – perfect mountain hiking for an advanced adventure

Now it dawns on my why people don’t do photo shoots on top of mountains; they want the model to look fresh and pretty, not red-faced and sweaty.

Still I’m committed now and determined not to give up, not to give in to my embarrassment and not to give in to Rich. And I’m enjoying the hike.

After hiking and climbing for over an hour we reach the peak. I let time pass hoping the sweat will dry and my face will go back to normal but there’s not enough time for that and I can put it off no longer.

Mountain Hiking and Why I'm in a Bad Mood

I pull the dress on over my top and shorts, change my hiking sandals for high heels, clamber on to a rock and pose. I feel ridiculous, adventurous and beautiful.

There have been many lows this year and too many bad moods but this is a high point. I feel a good mood coming on and I like that I’ll have the photos to remember it by. They’re special and a little bit crazy like me.

My head aches from banging it on the boot and it’s overrun with an endless stream of thoughts, ideas and concerns every minute of every day. I’m trying to control that inner chatter and make it stop sometimes to give my brain a break.

Mindfulness is hard when sitting still but I can find it in nature, on walks and even when balancing on a rock on top of a mountain in the wrong outfit.

I wouldn’t say I’m in a good mood now but it’s not a bad mood either and anyway, I have to accept the moods both good and bad. I have to accept that sometimes there is no why. Bad moods just happen. I don’t like these mood changes but being emotional is part of being human. That’s just the way life is.

I want life to putter along merrily but it never does. There are mountains to climb, bad moods to deal with and petty annoyances everywhere.

I have to accept my aging body, the changing moods and the endless stream of thoughts and ideas. Accept that even though some ideas are idiotic you only know for sure when you try them out.

Mountain Hiking and Why I'm in a Bad Mood travel story

Love the dress, love the view but if I could do it all over again I’d take a make-up artist with me. Or at least put on a bit of lippy…

Mountain Hiking and Why I'm in a Bad Mood

While Rich likes to hide behind the camera one of our hiking mates proved to be nearly as big a poser as me

Travel story mountain hiking and who im in a bad mood

Have you ever had any bad ideas? Or been in a really bad mood?


Mountain Hiking Exercise Review

Cost: $0. Though you’ll need some decent trainers.

Time Exercising: 2.5 hours including about 45 mins enjoying the views.

Average Heart Rate: I got distracted by the dress and didn’t wear my heart rate monitor but this is a good workout.

Fun Factor: 8/10.

Fear Factor: 5/10. It would be scarier but I’ve done it a few times before so I know what to expect.

Post-exercise Glow: 8/10.

Blossom Betty Dress: Priceless. Although you can check out Blosssom Betty on Facebook and, if you play your cards right, Leearna Saunders might create a special piece of clothing that will make you feel better too.


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  1. Linda ~ Journey Jottings May 1, 2013 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    Love the dress and love the look on the top of the mountain –
    I’m with you – love a bit of glamour in unlikely places ;)

  2. Sandra Pawula May 2, 2013 at 5:33 pm - Reply


    I seriously smiled all the way through this post. Do you know what a capacity you have for making people smile? It seems like your idea came off rather good – the dress is beautiful and you look lovely. Who cares about lipstick!

    • Annabel Candy May 2, 2013 at 5:35 pm - Reply

      Hi Sandra,

      Lol, that’s such good news. I do want to make people laugh. It’s true the dress is gorgeous, I would probably have just smeared lippy on it and that would never do :)

  3. Kylee at boomerang jane May 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    Beautiful. Simply beautiful. :-)

  4. Rita Vail May 5, 2013 at 11:56 pm - Reply

    You look fabulous – really lovely. The dress is very nice, but the main thing is that it makes you feel beautiful and so you shine!

    Kids can ruin your mood. I always threatened them with military school.

    There is nothing wrong with your body. Give it another 20 years and you will finally get over mourning the loss of your 28 year old self. Maybe.

    • Annabel Candy May 10, 2013 at 2:03 pm - Reply

      Hi Rita,

      Lol at all of that! So true thank you and your comment made me feel shiny :)

  5. Jen from Ojochal May 6, 2013 at 2:32 am - Reply

    Oh Annabel, your post was just what I needed this morning – Thanks! Good to be reminded that bad moods are a part if life and they don’t have to derail you :). I remember getting stuck in your driveway on a dark rainy season night in Ojochal and that was all I could think about while I was in your house enjoying (well trying to) the evening with everyone). In the end it all got sorted out (probably with the help of some of the wonderful folk in Ojochal – don’t specifically remember) and I’m here to tell about it. For me the trick is to “look for the opening” (an opening to create something else/ another direction to move in) – I don’t always remember to look and when I do it’s usually magical. Laughing’s also a great way to go :) Thank you for your delightful posts! Love to you all, Jen

    • Annabel Candy May 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm - Reply

      Hi Jen,

      I love that story. Laughter is a saviour and I will try to look for openings. I love the idea of that :)

  6. Jamila May 6, 2013 at 7:51 am - Reply

    Hello Annabel,
    what a great idea (I wonder what you will come up with next :))!
    You look gorgeous. That dress really suits you. Love it!
    (it might be hormones that you feel sometimes a bit down now and have bad moods, I sometimes have that too and it is pre-menopausal symptoms. Just our age :) You could work on balancing hormones and it can make a difference)

    • Annabel Candy May 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm - Reply

      Hi Jamila,

      The GP tested my hormones as I was really hoping there was a reason for this but she said they were normal. But I agree with you. I think something is changing I might have to ask you more about that hormonal stuff.

  7. Hao Dinh May 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    Hi Annabel,
    I’m supposed to be too young to understand the whole story but your post helps me to empathize with my beloved Mom. I wonder if Asian 40-something women are in the same boat though.
    I’m very glad you’re better now. Hopefully you’ll keep yourself positive. Time makes you older but also gives you more wisdom.

    • Annabel Candy May 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm - Reply

      Hi Hao,

      Great to see you here no matter your age :) That’s an interesting question. Aging is a cultural thing and in many parts of the world old people are respected for their wisdom but that doesn’t seem to be the case in western society where youth and beauty are worshipped.

      I love that you love your mum and I’m sure having a beautiful young daughter to spend time with helps keep her young and positive. My kids help me with that a lot… except when we are arguing about why they have to wear a hat!

  8. This was a great idea!! The dress looks fantastic, and you certainly do still have it. What an amazing location, what a view. How steep!

    I had my massage today Annabel, it was really terrific. Had a coffee with an old, old friend afterwards, totally relaxing and uplifting way to spend the day. Thank you so much for that.

  9. Leearna Saunders May 11, 2013 at 10:13 am - Reply

    Annabel…you are simply divine…an Empress atop her kingdom…shine on and celebrate for we are beings of light and shade xxx

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